Thursday, 22 October 2009

Twice Barred

A rare full work day today with Birdguides, unfortunately I'm barred from mentioning any of it. However the good thing about working with other birders is that there are endless opportunities to get distracted. Why else would you hold a meeting on Holy Island in October?
I hadn't even fully crossed the causeway before a Short-eared Owl, one of at least three present on Holy Island today presented itself for a photo opportunity. So filling my boots whilst unwittingly blocking both sides of the road nearly saw me late for the start. I think I'd have been excused my lateness as this particular magnificent creature was as obliging as your going to get for three to four minutes. the light wasn't great which gave me a few headaches but one or two have turned out OK I think.

Short-eared Owl, Holy Island
News of a Pallas's Warbler at the Snook nearly stopped the meeting dead but everyone did the right thing and carried on. Some of us (John Cromie, Andy Hirst & I) satisfied ourselves with a lunchtime amble onto the Straight & Crooked Lonnens that produced distant views of Barred Warbler or at least that's what the one birder with a scope said it was as I neglected to take a scope and through bins it could have been a grey budgie next to the big garden.
We caught up with what looked like the Siberian Chiffchaff on the Straight Lonnen although it would have been nice to hear it call.
Two or three times during the course of the afternoon session all discussion was abandoned as a phyllosc worked it's way though the back garden shrubbery.
Common Buzzard and Jay at West Cawledge on the A1 kept me entertained on the way home.

1 comment:

Laura K said...

Fantastic photos of that owl. In winter a dozen or so congregate at a nearby field. I visit semi-regularly, but they start flying at when night edges out dusk -- when my retinas are significantly challenged to pick out any details.

Your crew deserves major rewards for not chasing the Pallas's. How many of you are still chewing on that missed opportunity?